STERLING – For the 12 days of Christmas, a local church won’t be giving the community any lords-a-leaping, ladies dancing or maids-a-milking.
Instead, from Thursday through Christmas Eve, it will be giving those in need a warm meal, a cart full of groceries or a plate of cookies.
Amazing Grace is on a mission to bless people with small gestures of kindness, a project it is calling “The 12 Blessings of Christmas,” said the Rev. Loren Schlomer, the church pastor.
“It’s something we can do every day. It’s nothing major,” Schlomer said. “We just know there are some people hurting out there. ... We want people to know someone cares about them.”
Members of Amazing Grace will pick up the tab for the person behind them in line at the drive-through, give a gift certificate to a person in need at the grocery, and take cards and cookies to residents at nursing homes.
They will stick quarters in the washers and dryers at the coin-operated laundry, wrap gifts at the mall, and deliver food baskets to the homeless shelter.
And they’ll do all of it anonymously.
Amazing Grace aims to be a giving church, especially around the holidays, Schlomer said.
“Christmas is a time of giving, ... a time of giving to other people,” Schlomer said. “As we give, it’s always such a blessing; there’s a real excitement going into it. ... And as people receive, even though some people have a hard time with it because they’re not used to that, it’s a blessing too; they know that we love and care about them.”
The church had no trouble coming up with enough small, simple ways to give back to the community, Schlomer said.
The church used money it normally would have spent on its Christmas play to buy some of the gifts, and it encouraged its members to get involved and even spend some of their own money to carry out the good deeds, Schlomer said.
“The 12 Blessings of Christmas” is a new project for Amazing Grace, but it “very possibly” could become an annual holiday tradition, Schlomer said.
On the second day of Christmas
As one of its 12 blessings, Amazing Grace will host a free chili supper from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the church, 512 Second Ave. in Sterling.